Proper eyesight is essential in childhood development

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Eyesight is important for children in life and without it their development and learning ability in school can be affected an article by the National Association of School Nurses states.

“Vision impairments in children are common and uncorrected vision problems can impair child development, lead to behavior problems in the classroom, interfere with early literacy and learning, and lead to permanent vision loss,” the article states.

Advanced Eyecare owner and ophthalmologist Dr. Kraig Stasney said that vision comprises about 80 percent of how people learn. That means detecting eyesight problems in children at an early age is important, he said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Stasney said there are now multiple types of lenses that protect children from ultraviolet radiation and from blue light while improving their eyesight. He said that the typical scenario where adults are the only ones who wear sunglasses needs to change. Children can benefit from the use of sunglasses that prevent exposure to ultraviolet light, which can lead to eye damage and cataracts later in life, he said.

Since children are usually unaware if they suffer from poor eyesight, there are signs parents can look for, such as squinting, holding objects very close to the face, sitting too close to a TV, constant headaches and blinking more often than usual, he said.

High school student Dylan Turner said he started wearing glasses about 10 years ago. He said he didn’t start wearing glasses until he was 6 and started school. While in class, Turner said the chalkboard and other objects around him were blurry, so his parents took him to an eye doctor.

According to an article by the American Optometric Association, in order for children to succeed in school they must be able to clearly see a chalkboard, computer screen and book at different distances, be able to quickly focus on objects, have the ability to track moving objects, be able to use both eyes conjointly and possess the ability to organize images into words.

“If any of these visual skills are lacking or not functioning properly, a child will have to work harder. This can lead to headaches, fatigue and other eyestrain problems,” the article states.